(CNN)In a few hours, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is due to be back on Earth.
Kelly has completed a nearly yearlong mission on the International Space Station, the longest any U.S. astronaut has been in space. He’s set to come home on Tuesday, riding back to Earth on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. He’s scheduled to land in the Kazakhstan desert at 10:27 Wednesday morning (11:27 p.m. ET Tuesday).
The prolific social media user posted a photo of the sunrise on Tuesday — the last one he’ll watch from space.
Spending 340 days in space could affect a person’s vision and bones, but Kelly said last week that physically, he feels pretty good. “I could go for another 100 days or 100 years,” the astronaut said during his last briefing with reporters from orbit.
But the long stay has also been lonely. “The hardest part is being isolated from people on the ground who are important to you,” he said.
The space veteran said he has witnessed some of the most amazing scenes of Earth during his mission, like spotting the northern lights, passing over the Bahamas and watching huge storms like Hurricane Patricia.
He’s also gained perspective on Earth’s climate while he’s been orbiting the planet. “I feel more like an environmentalist since I’ve been up here,” he said. “There are parts of the Earth that are covered with pollution all the time. I saw weather that was unexpected. Storms bigger than we’ve seen in the past. This is a human effect. This is not a natural phenomenon.”
In a previous interview with CNN, Kelly said Earth’s atmosphere “looks very, very fragile” from the space station. But there are opportunities to solve the Earth’s environmental problems, Kelly said Thursday. “If we can dream it, we can make it so,” he said.
Once Kelly lands, he will be flown to Houston’s Ellington Field and go through a battery of physical and scientific tests. Afterward, he’s looking forward to jumping into his pool, he said.
Kelly isn’t bringing back any souvenirs — this is his fourth mission in space, after all — but he’s looking forward to returning some personal items when he lands.
One of his biggest hopes for the Year in Space mission’s legacy is that it helps NASA on its quest to take astronauts farther away from Earth on longer space flights — a necessity for traveling to Mars in the future. “The space station here is a magical place, and an incredible science facility. I hope more people have the opportunity to do this in the future,” he said.
He told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta last week that it feels like he’s spent his whole life on the station and that leaving it is going to be tough.
“I’ll probably never see it again,” Kelly told Gupta. “I’ve flown in space four times now, so it’s going to be hard in that respect, but I certainly look forward to going back to Earth. I’ve been up here for a really long time and sometimes, when I think about it, I feel like I’ve lived my whole life up here.”
Kelly also promised to keep a personal journal of his experience on the space station and said that he might share it with us.
“I plan to be completely honest about it,” he said before launch, but — “who knows, maybe there are some crazy thoughts I’ll have at the end that I wouldn’t want to share.”
Kelly also did experiments. Lots and lots of experiments. He and his one-year crewmate, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, conducted studies to help NASA better understand what happens to the human body in space: The eyes, brain, bones, muscles — they all change in a weightless environment.
NASA needs to know a lot more about these changes to the body before it can send people to Mars or on any other long spaceflights.
Kelly began his mission to the space station on March 27, 2015, riding a Russian rocket that launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
He’ll come home much the same way. When his mission ends, Kelly will have spent 340 consecutive days on the space station and a total of 520 days in space counting his time from previous trips. Both are records for U.S. astronauts, but not for Russia. Between 1987 and 1995, four cosmonauts spent a year or more in space.
Kornienko also will come back Tuesday and cosmonaut Sergey Volkov will be on the flight too — though he did not spend a year on the space station.
After Kelly lands, he’ll be flown to Houston. But his mission doesn’t end there. NASA will spend years analyzing the tests he conducted on board.Continue reading
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Another day, another study that might be true but more likely will turn into another instance of media reporting incomplete scientific information as fact. But well take the bait, since this time it involves our precious time on Facebook.
According to an analysis by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, greater social media use among young people is linked to a greater risk of developing an eating disorder. But lets unpack that a bit.
The study participants filled out two questionnaires, one about their social media use, and one that assessed their eating disorder risk. The results from this study indicate a strong and consistent association between social media use and eating concerns in a nationally representative sample of young adults aged 19 to 32 years, says the abstract of the study, which sampled 1,765 U.S. adults in the aforementioned age range.
According to lead researcher Jamie E. Sidani, its common knowledge that exposure to media like fashion magazines and television can result in the development of eating disorders, and that social media combines many of the visual aspects of traditional media with the opportunity for social media users to interact and propagate stereotypes that can lead to eating and body image concerns.”
Participants who spent more time on social media, whether that was more visits per week or longer visits per session, had 2.2 times the risk of reporting eating and body image concerns. But its not as simple as Facebook causes anorexia.
Time spent looking at photos of other bodies could certainly trigger disordered eatingbutthose who have body image issues could also be drawn to a site where they could compare themselves to other bodies. Dr. Brian A. Primack, senior author of the study, said the analysis could not determine which came first, the disordered eating or the social media use.
Still, its not hard to see how looking at heavily edited photos of celebrities, fitspo stars, and that one friend of yours who is always on vacation and looks great in a bikini could make you at least more aware of how your body measures up. So, as a helpful reminder, the thigh gap is a total lie.
The legitimate concern about video metrics could lead to another problem: over-correction.Continue reading
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Modern day technology certainly gets a hard press, but whilst there are many negatives to smartphones and social media, there are also a lot of advantages to the devices that we take for granted.
For example, the body camera may feel like an unnecessary gadget for most. But for those in fields of work which require constant contact with people, especially people who are suspected of criminal offenses, they’re vital.
To provide proof of this, you need look no further than the case of Brunswick County Police Department and a woman by the name of Dawn H.W.
On April 27, Dawn was pulled over in Virginia by an officer of Brunswick County Police Department after she was caught doing 70 mph in a 55 mph zone.
Dawn, who was traveling back home to Greenville, South Carolina, believed that the officer who pulled her over was racially motivated and instantly took to Facebook Live to explain what had just happened to her.
Watch her explain every detail of the “traumatic incident” here…
Dawn claims to have “been threatened” by the police officer in her emotional explanation of the incident.
“We shouldn’t be afraid to drive,” Dawn says through tears whilst addressing “all African-Americans and people of color.”
“I just want to show you what area that I’m in. This is the area I’m in, in the middle of this kind of stuff,” Dawn then continues to say, turning her camera around to show the green fields to the side of the Interstate in Virginia. “This is where I am, so it’s not like I am not afraid because this is where we got lynched.”
“I was literally afraid that he was going to pull me out, impound my car and I’d be Sandra Bland,” Dawn continues, referencing the 2015 death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland who died in a Texas prison three days after being pulled over for a traffic violation.
“Now, do any of my white friends ever feel like that when they get pulled over? Are they afraid that they’re never going to come home to see anybody else?” Dawn continues. “Why do only African-Americans and people of color know what I am going through right now?”
Dawn’s video instantly went viral, which left Bushwick County Police Department with no option but to review their officer’s bodycam to inspect if Dawn’s “traumatic experience” was as she described it.
Here is what they found when they reviewed the footage. Clearly, something doesn’t add up…
As you can see, Dawn’s story is very different to what truly happened that day.
Thankfully the bodycam footage was able to prove exactly what happened and leave everyone in no doubt that the police officer was simply just doing his job.
Speaking of the incident, Brunswick County Sheriff Brian Roberts said: “I don’t know what she has been through and I don’t know her life history, what I worry about is this kind of thing will inflame situations where you see cops in other states have been executed while they were just eating lunch.”
It is certainly a compelling case, although it would appear that most people are unanimously in favor of the officer.
Whose side do you take? Watch both videos to ensure you have the full story on the incident.Continue reading
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